How Many Lights on one Breaker?

plug_messAlways the big question, how many lights on one breaker

I’m asked so many times how many outlets and or lights can I put on a 15 amp or 20 amp breaker. Well NEC code does not have it listed that way. By rule of thumb, you would stick with 8 to 10 outlets and or lights per breaker. Now, this is of course they are 120 volts 60 Hz (the USA or Canada).

Kitchen But let’s think of a kitchen or dining room. Just the name kitchen tells says “Countertop Microwave, blender, toaster, toaster oven” And that’s just my house. Turn all those on at once and BAM You are over and the breaker will trip. That’s why code with kitchens is very different. For a kitchen, it’s 20amp and something like two outlets per breaker and no more than four feet apart of counter space. And any counter that is more than two feet long needs an outlet. And all countertop outlets must be GFCI protected.

Garage Now in a garage, the code states that you only need one GFCI protected outlet. Now that’s just dumb and cheap to install one outlet in a garage anyway. But hey each to their own right.

Bathrooms Bathrooms must also have one GFCI outlet (20 amp)

So let’s say you’re wiring a simple bedroom. My rule of thumb and code is. An outlet within six feet in either direction of the bedroom door and within 10 feet from there all around the room. So plan carefully when you get to the closets. Some simple planning and you’ll be fine.

That’s how I wired my house. And when we lost power during Hurricane Sandy we had all the lights in the house working on a generator. But that’s another story altogether.

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7 thoughts on “How Many Lights on one Breaker?”

  1. I am an electrician and there is a code, it’s 80% of the rated circuit breaker. Ex- 12 plugs on 1 15 amp breaker.

  2. Same as Rick how to install a transfer switch, when the sevice lines are live, can it be done without calling elec. company to disconect. Whole house transfer, not just individule circuits.

    1. Dominick Amorosso

      A whole house transfer? Usually you would only do the important circuits that would be needed in case of a power outage. And in that case you would just turn those breakers off while you install the transfer switch. So moreless whenever you’re playing with the wire from the meter pan to the main breaker you would call to have that disconnected.

    1. Sure thing and it’s a great idea. However I need one of these jobs to be able to make this video. I will get on it ASAP.. Thanks again for your input. Make sure you subscribe to my news letter. That you’ll be notified the minute I post it.

      Regards… Dominick

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